On the basis of Western morality, the Greco-Roman Judeo-Christian one, behaviors like killing, betraying, cursing are considered immoral. Christianity imposes that thoughts can be corrupt, therefore immoral; and there is logic, since thought represents - before desire and/or intention - the conception, the consideration that a given alternative is possible, and even plausible.
However, if the mind can have immoral productions, can it also arouse something unethical? In particular, can thoughts — internal mental processes in which no one is harmed other than possibly the thinker itself — possibly be unjustifiable in a typical society's set of principles?
Reflecting on killing someone can certainly be immoral, but can it be unethical, even when the act has not been perpetrated yet?
For short: jumping a queue is immoral, because it goes against society's informal rules, but ethical if you are in a hurry for an urgent meeting, since the act is justifiable in this circumstances. Can immoral thoughts be seen in such a light?
- Immoral: an act, reasoning, behaviour or reaction deemed improper by the modi operandi of a given society respective.
- Ethical: as in Applied Ethics, but used in a more abstract manner; the act, ... that: even when judged immoral, may and should be carried out when it represents a greater good done than bad be it concerning individuals or groups, shall be permitted given the circumstances of an individual in an alarming situation, or is justifiable in the sense that the agent of such act should not be judged guilty when the context is avaluated. E.g.: homicide in legitimate defense; thus homicide is (unconditionally) immoral, but ethical in this situation.